Texas Madrones are one of the most popular plants in the world. They have been cultivated since ancient times and they were used for medicinal purposes during the time of Jesus Christ. Today, they are grown commercially as ornamental trees or cuttings for use in herbal medicine. There are many varieties of Texas madrones but there is only two species: Texas madrone (Rubus idaeus) and Mexican madrona (Rubus chamaedrys). These two species are the only ones known to produce viable seeds. Other than these two species, no other wild relatives exist.
The Texas madrone plant is native to Mexico and was introduced into North America by European settlers in the early 1800’s. Since then, it has spread throughout much of the United States, especially from New England southward through Alabama and Georgia. It is found primarily along rivers and streams where it grows on both dry land and waterlogged soil. It prefers moist areas with lots of moisture and abundant shade.
Its preferred habitat is rocky hillsides, steep slopes, and ridges. It does not like being crowded out of its natural environment so it will grow in any area that offers some protection from competition.
The Texas madrone tree produces large, oval leaves which are up to four inches long and three inches wide at their widest point. The undersides of the leaves are white with a fine, greyish down.
The tree, like many other members of the Rose family, features clusters of small, five-petaled flowers which are white or pale pink in color and appear during the spring. These flowers give way to fruits which are red or orange in color and have a smooth skin with small hairs on it. The fruit is around one centimeter in diameter and contains several flattened brown seeds.
Sources & references used in this article:
Carnivore fruit-use and seed dispersal of two selected plant species of the Edwards Plateau, Texas by F Chavez-Ramirez, RD Slack – The Southwestern Naturalist, 1993 – JSTOR
Ecological characteristics and distribution of arbutus xalapensis (texas madrone) populations in central texas by AM Davis, OW Van Auken – Madroño, 2019 – BioOne
Germination of Texas persimmon seed. by JH Everitt – … Ecology & Management/Journal of Range …, 1984 – journals.uair.arizona.edu
Texas Persimmon Distribution and Control with Individual Plant Treatments. by CJ Scifres – Texas FARMER Collection, 1975 – oaktrust.library.tamu.edu
Characteristics and Distribution of Arbutus xalapensis (Texas Madrone) in the Edwards Plateau Region of Central Texas by A Davis – 2017 – search.proquest.com